Singles squeezed out of housing market

A Single Man Overlooking City

Prospective single home owners are being pushed out of the Australian property market by rising unaffordability, an industry analysis has shown.

The number of single home applications at ME fell by 9 per cent to 35 per cent of all loans over the last two years, according to the super fund-owned bank.

Women remain the most disadvantaged, with the number of single female applicants falling by 14 per cent, compared to 5 per cent for men.

Meanwhile, ME found that the average loan size ballooned by 9 per cent to $355,000.

“Even as part of a couple, east coast property prices are out of reach for many Australians,” ME head of home loans, Patrick Nolan told nestegg.com.au.

Due to the rising unaffordability, Mr Nolan said it was crucial Australians explored alternatives to owning their home.

“Consider other strategies to get your foot in the door such as buying investment property, buying with family or friends, buying off-the-plan or looking beyond the ‘uber’ suburbs [and] being open to more affordable locations that still offer the sort of lifestyle you’re looking for,” he said.

“You can invest or tap into the bank of mum and dad [or] alternatively, join forces with someone who isn’t your romantic partner such a friend or family member.”

Not surprisingly, those looking to buy in New South Wales were the hardest hit followed by Victorians, with the average loan amount jumping by 16 per cent to $422,000  and 11 per cent to $348,000 respectively.

Mr Nolan said while singles might be deterred from home ownership, it remained within the realms of possibility.

“Research by ME confirms that over the last five years, one in four first home buyers have received financial assistance from a family member, [with] loans or gifts the most common form of financial assistance provided,” he said.

“It’s also important to arrange pre-approval for a home loan in advance to give you a good idea of what you can afford and not waste time looking at homes that are beyond your budget.”

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